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Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  161 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
The premier historical Jesus scholar joins a brilliant archaeologist to illuminate the life and teaching of Jesus against the background of his world.

There have been phenomenal advances in the historical understanding of Jesus and his world and times, but also huge, lesser known advances in first–century Palestine archaeology that explain a great deal about Jesus, his fo
Paperback, revised, 368 pages
Published November 25th 2003 by HarperOne (first published October 2nd 2001)
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Oct 12, 2014 Jonathan rated it it was ok
This book was a promising mash-up of archeology and exegesis. At first I thought it would be fairly even split, and that exegetical discussion would clearly relate to the archeology (as they do in the early discussions of Nazareth and the virgin birth). While I very much disagreed with what I would call irrational overconfidence in the findings to date of archeology and how they related to Nazareth and the virgin birth (and later, especially in relation to Q), I think the book would have been mo ...more
Pete daPixie
Mar 29, 2009 Pete daPixie rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-jesus
Excavating Jesus has been put together by two writers, covering two topics. John Dominic Crossan excavates the exegesis, and Jonathan Reed describes the archaeological layers, in this synthesis on first century Palestine.
Crossan covers the NT texts, Gospel of Thomas, Nag Hammadi Codices, Q Gospel, Gospel of Peter etc.,to excavate back to the historical Jesus. Of course contemporary writings from Josephus, Philo, Tacitus etc are also covered.
Reed sifts through the stones to evaluate The James oss
Dec 24, 2007 Adam rated it it was amazing
"Why did Jesus happen when and where he happened?" is the question that drives Excavating Jesus, a collaboration between the leading historical Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan and noted Galilean archeologist Jonathan Reed. Excavating Jesus is a groundbreaking work of popular biblical scholarship, an extraordinarily mature and accessible integration of textual study with archeological research. "Words talk. Stones talk too. Neither talks from the past without interpretive dialogue wi
This book combines liberal theology with archaeology. It succeeds at the latter, not the former. I do not share Dr. Crossan's presuppositions and methodology, but he does have some incisive comments regarding the theology of the NT. I found the discussion of the Temple and of the Caiaphas ossuary to be quite informative. No matter what you think of his Jesus Seminar, you'll still come away with a better understanding of the Semitic and Greco-Roman background of the NT.
Oct 22, 2008 Mom rated it really liked it
Excavating Jesus is a title with a double meaning as Crossan and coauthor Reed not only discuss the physical archeology of the land of the Bible but also the intellectual archeology of the Bible, going below the temporal layers of Biblical writings even as they describe going below the temporal layers of the soil of Israel to find the past. They seek for the connections and events that ring true and are not likely to be the glosses of time and worship. There is, for instance, an interesting sect ...more
Feb 06, 2013 Lisa rated it liked it
The perfect book for those interested in the historical Jesus, right? A combination of archeology and textual analysis. It's the book I've been waiting for. And the authors are no nubes, but very well respected scholars in their fields. However, this is not an easy read. The connections between the different kinds of digging can seem tangential at times. The best chapter is the very last one, where some of the threads tie up and some interesting insights are revealed. But I have this sinking fee ...more
Renee Easter
Jan 27, 2014 Renee Easter rated it liked it
This book comes with two perspectives: archeological and biblical. It is a good book to connect the context of the 1st Century to the culture of that day in the region where Jesus lived. It is not an easy read, but is worth the effort. I would recommend it for serious biblical study.
Al Gritten
Mar 10, 2013 Al Gritten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not light reading, but it is an excellent look at the way archaeology helps to inform the study of the biblical text. This is a more scholarly work, more like a textbook on biblical exegesis that is based in understanding the text in the same way one would understand the layers of an archaeological excavation. It looks at the lifestyle of ancient Palestine as revealed in the digs of the last century or so, and then explores the way these understandings enlighten the text of the Bible. Fo ...more
David Olmsted
Apr 15, 2012 David Olmsted rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biblical
John Dominic Crossan is the leading historical Jesus scholar for his attempt to find an objective, non-theological method for judging the authentic sayings of Jesus. His methodology is socio-economic in which the earliest sayings are assumed to reflect the sudden intrusion of the commercial Roman empire culture into a peasant based traditional culture. To know what those effects are one needs to know the socio-economic situation of the times and this is where this book comes in. He has teamed wi ...more
Evan Kostelka
Sep 14, 2014 Evan Kostelka rated it really liked it
Some of this was pretty dry, but his exegesis on early first century and second century writings was worth it. Some great research with great care taken to examine the questions he raises as fairly as possible.
Brian Steed
You could see the seams between the sections written by Crossan (the Jesus historian), and the more tedious sections written by Reed (the archaeologist) describing ancient Roman and Jewish buildings in interminable detail. This book was still a great resource for learning about Jewish culture at the time of Christ, and it whet my appetite for more of the same.
Michael Powe
Oct 22, 2013 Michael Powe rated it liked it
Shelves: christianity
Another of Crossan's determinedly thorough tomes. As with The Birth of Christianity, bring as much knowledge of Biblical archaeology to the reading as possible.
Feb 03, 2016 Vera rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-reads
It took me a while to finish this book, but it was very interesting reading. I think their approach from both the archeology and the texts gave the book a good balance.
Lucid B
Jun 06, 2012 Lucid B rated it really liked it
Not a bad book, and probably the easiest of his reads to be honest. But be warned that mr crossan often goes off on wild tangents that don't seem to connect.
Jul 07, 2012 Sara rated it liked it
Okay - some good facts but lots of tangents.
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John Dominic Crossan is generally regarded as the leading historical Jesus scholar in the world. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The Historical Jesus, Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, The Birth of Christianity, and Who Killed Jesus? He lives in Clermont, Florida.
John Dominic Crossan was born in Nenagh County in Tipperary, Ireland, in 1934. He was educated in Ireland and
More about John Dominic Crossan...

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